Johannesburg is always worth a visit – is the opinion of Tim who, thanks to working as a Cabin Crew Member with SWISS, is able to fly to his favourite South African city several times a year. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are the opposite of those in Europe, which makes southern Africa the perfect destination to escape the European winter. However, temperatures are mild all year round, although you should expect showers and thunderstorms in summer – that is, from October to April.
Johannesburg is not one of your classic tourist destinations. In fact, visitors usually treat it as a stop-off on the way to Cape Town or the national parks such as the Kruger. But that is wrong in Tim's opinion, who shows us just how much the city has to offer. SWISS flies daily to Johannesburg (JNB) from Zurich (ZRH).
It's worth getting up early! At the crack of dawn Tim sets off to Randburg, a suburb about 10 km north of the city centre. Watching the sun rise over the vast landscapes of the steppe could well be one of the best ways to start the day. The air is still dry, and you can watch the huge, colourful hot air balloons take off, fly and land. This is an unparalleled spectacle.
But if you find a little more difficult to leave the land of nod, Tim suggests a visit to Klipspruit in the suburb of Soweto. From 10 a.m. you can watch the bold and those with a head for heights as they bungee jump. And if you're brave enough, you can join them on a madcap leap into the depths. Tim hasn't quite managed it yet: "I love watching the others do it, but there's no way I'd try it myself!"
For lunch, Tim recommends the Four Seasons Hotel in Westcliff, where the architecture and views are just as impressive as the food. "My favourite meal is the South African beef burger with sweet potato fries. And carrot and ginger soup to start. Then just enjoy the views. Mega!"
This sets Tim up for the afternoon's activities: a tour at the Lion & Safari Park Broederstroom, which is only a short drive away. Lions, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, leopards ... Africa's memorable wild animals can be seen up close here, either on a guided tour or from your own vehicle. Tim loves it: "Being able to see the animals so close and in their natural habitat is a unique experience!"
After the long afternoon with so many impressions, it's time to head back to the city. Tim is in the mood for a typical South African evening meal. He suggest the Grillhouse Sandton – a haven for meat lovers! Tim's recommendation: "Try the country's typical dishes such as ostrich, crocodile or springbok. And with it, a South African wine – you'll have the perfect evening!"
Satisfied and happy, Tim sets off on an evening walk around. There's plenty going on here during the day as well, he says. "But in the evenings, it's lovely to stroll along the illuminated streets and look at the houses." On these walks, Tim often finds himself in conversation with locals. "Despite their dire history, the people here are open and friendly, and there's always something to laugh about." This openness, which to Tim typifies the locals' fundamental attitude to life, is one of the reasons why he has kept coming back to South Africa ever since he was 16.